Syracuse Basketball Making Richards a Priority

After Tyus Battle announced his commitment to Syracuse on Monday, we now look to the future. Where do the Orange go next in the recruiting world? The latest with one of those targets inside.

When Tyus tweeted he would be attending Syracuse, the 2016 class officially closed. Even if the Orange wanted to pursue more talent, the numbers just aren’t there. So, we move on to the 2017 class.

Nick Richards, a 5-star center, is at the top of the list. The Elizabeth (N.J.) native has offers from Creighton, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Pittsburgh, SMU, Syracuse, UCLA, Villanova and VCU.

In an interview with Richards on Tuesday, he told me Syracuse remains in daily contact and have made him a priority. The 6-11 center is considering visiting in August, but hasn’t made anything official yet.

In the summer, Richards plays in the Nike EYBL circuit for Expressions Elite. He averaged 11.1 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game. During the school year, he suits up for The Patrick School.

Nick wasn’t ready to name any favorites just yet.

“I haven’t placed any school ahead of another because I’m looking at them all equally," he said. "I’ll cut my list down during my junior year.”

Coach Autry is Richards’ primary recruiter, and the two are seemingly building a strong relationship.

“They like my game as a big that runs the floor, blocks and alters shots and rebounds,” he told

With DaJuan Coleman’s future uncertain, adding an elite center would be ideal. Even in a best case scenario, Coleman's eligibility will be exhausted after two more seasons.

Syracuse received a commitment from 7-foot-2 transfer center Paschal Chukwu last month, which added much-needed depth to the SUfrontcourt. He will have three seasons of eligibility remaining after sitting out the 2016-17 season.

In 2017, Chukwu will be the only true center on the Syracuse roster. Richards’ importance will continue to increase in the eyes of the SU coaching staff.

Although it’s early, the Orange have asserted themselves in a very good position with Richards. The Syracuse-New Jersey pipeline has been a successful one. Nick Richards could be next.

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